Saturday, December 23, 2006

Only in Maine

We were at a Christmas party last night which included the ever-popular Yankee swap. One of the gifts that was under the tree was large with fragile written on it. The gentleman who picked the package carefully opened it. Inside was a styrofoam case. Again cautious opening...

Then what to our wondering eyes should appear? A LIVE lobster. He held it up and it waved Merry Christmas to all of us. What a hoot!

(Apparently, lobsters can live in these conditions for shipping up to 24 hours.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Just finished this book by Patricia McCormick. Marc bought it for me to bless me a couple months back, and I haven't read it because I am a wimp. It is about the child prostitution trafficking in Nepal and India. It is written a bit like a diary of a thirteen year old girl whose stepfather sells her after a long time of gambling away the family money and a monsoon season the wipes out the rice crop.
McCormick really did her research, and I am thoroughly impressed with the book. I will read this book again and will seek out other books by McCormick.
I know that child prostitution slavery is a huge problem all around the globe. One of the reasons I wanted to read this book was to make the problem more 'personal' and less intellectual for myself. I think I need to read it and share it and process it a few more times to get there...
I think that everyone needs to read this book and enter into the dialogue and awareness of this issue.
I had two initial responses. One was thinking that somewhere in the world there is a little girl who is playing and discovering much like Anna is - playing with dolls, entering the world of being pretty, singing, reading, swinging - and that little girl in a few short years will be sold into a prostitute system that it is impossible to get free from.
My second response is simply 'Lord, how then do I live?'

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thoughts from Richard Foster

Our home is full of anticipation this year - of the gifts we'll be giving, receiving, and the special time together. And the anticipation seems to be True Anticipation, not simple greed.

I've been working through "Seeking the Kingdom - Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith" by Richard Foster during Advent. (I love Richard Foster's writing, and am challenged to the core of me - but in a non-religious, non-legalistic way. The grace in the truth he writes is so anointed.)

Here is what I read this morning:

"There is hardly anything more clear in the Bible than God's absolute right to property.... (Job 41:11, Exod. 19:5-6, Ps. 24:1)...

We moderns find it difficult to identify with this teaching. Much of our training draws from the Roman view that ownership is a 'natural right'. Hence the very idea that anything or anyone can infringe upon our 'property rights' feels alien to our view. This coupled with our seemingly innate self-centeredness, means that for us, 'property rights' tend to take precedence over 'human rights'.

In the Bible, however, God's absolute rights as owner and our relative rights as stewards are unmistakably clear. (Deut 14:28-29, Exod. 23:11, Lev. 25:23)...

God's ownership of all things actually enhances our relationship with him. When we know - truly know- that the earth is the Lord's property itself makes us more aware of God. For example, if we were staying in and caring for the vacation home of a famous actress, we would be reminded of her daily by the very fact of living in her home. A thousand things would bring her presence to mind. So it is in our relationship with God. The house we live in is his house, the car we drive is his car, the garden we plant is his garden. We are only temporary stewards of things that belong to Another.

Being aware of God's ownership can free us from a possessive and anxious spirit. After we have done what we can to care for those things that have been entrusted to us, we know that they are in bigger hands than ours. When John Wesley heard that his home had been destroyed by fire, he exclaimed, 'The Lord's house burned. One less responsibility for me!'

God's ownership of everyting also changes the kinds of question we ask in giving. Rather than, 'How much of my money should I give to God?' we learn to ask 'How much of God's money should I keep for myself?' The difference between these two questions is of monumental proportions."

(Richard Foster, Seeking the Kingdom, pg. 76-78)

What a great reminder this reading is a week before Christmas! An invitation to celebrate all the good gifts we receive as His Stewards.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Things Caleb says

That make me kind of warm inside....

'We should just buy it at LLBean, Mom'
'You should blog that'

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cub Scouts

Caleb began CubScouts this afternoon. He goes about a half mile away to the Catholic School for his meetings. A group of about 10 first and second grader boys make up the den. Tonight he and Marc will go to the Pack meeting. Pinewood Derby is on January 21.
Isn't he so handsome?! I was so proud of him.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gingerbread Train, Day 1

At the beginning of November, I received my FamilyFun magazine. Looking through it, I found a recipe and directions for a Gingerbread Train. I thought it would be fun to do with Anna as a special Anna/Mommy project. I showed her the picture and we've been planning ever since.

Last week I bought all the candy and ingredients. This week is assembly week.

Day 1 (today) is making the dough, which needs to be refrigerated overnight. The dough is made, and it went fairly well. The only snafoo's actually were an older and younger child that couldn't stand Anna and I having an exclusive project. Sofia cried, Caleb paced. Then the kitchen sink got clogged and the food disposal stopped working.

But it went great. Really.

Day 2 (tomorrow, I hope) will be baking day.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Well Spent Dollar

Caleb is very motivated right now to earn money, find money, make money. He has found something in the Lego catalog that has his attention.

In the past, we have paid Caleb for out of the ordinary jobs, but that usually is when we have outdoor work to be done - like moving bricks. With the colder weather, it is harder to get creative with the jobs.

I'm a big proponent of his doing work just because he's part of the team. And he get's a small allowance because he's part of the team ($3 every paycheck - $1 for God, $1 for savings, $1 to spend).

Last night, Caleb asked if he could do the laundry as an above and beyond job. I thought that sounded like a good thing. I certainly would consider his doing the family laundry as above and beyond. So I agreed. Honestly, I didn't think he would see the project through. After all, I am intimately acquainted with the drudgery of the laundry chore.

I am pleased and proud to report that Caleb completed four full loads of laundry today: from sorting, washing, pouring detergent, turning on machine, transferring to dryer, turning on dryer, emptying dryer, folding, and putting in piles to go to our rooms. At 25 cents a load, from start to finish, Caleb is the pleased recipient of the dollar. And for the dollar I feel like I had a day's vacation, and a more grown up and appreciative son then I had when the day started.

Christmas Photo

Here is a photo of Marc and me that was taken at the Inland Christmas Party this past weekend. I think it came out pretty good.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Jesus gone missing...

This week has been largely spent getting the house ready for Christmas. Living room furniture moved around, decorations out, Christmas tree bought last night. Shopping online almost finished. Now thinking about the task of Christmas cards, making cookies, maybe some more ornaments.

One glitch in our Christmas preparation... Baby Jesus has gone missing. That's right. Missing.

A couple years ago, some good friends gave us the Playmobil Nativity Playset. It was something I had been wanting to buy for years, and never got around to it at the same time that I had money for it. So it is a very treasured and dear part of our Christmas tradition.

This year, Anna got to set the pieces in the cardboard stable on the end table at a convenient height for little fingers to play with.

"Mommy" I heard. "Baby Jesus isn't here."

Hmmm. Okay. I remember a few pieces didn't make it into the box last year and I put them safely somewhere.

I look in our storage room. Found a sheep. No baby Jesus. Thinking quickly about how to ease Anna's mind.

"Anna, I found a sheep. And while I was looking for the sheep I realized why we can't find Jesus."

"Why Mommy?"

"He's not born yet. He'll be here in time for his birthday. We just have to get everything ready for him." (BTW, I'm sure this is bad theology, but she can sort it out when she goes to seminary.)

She didn't really buy my explanation, but she's okay with playing my game. And we are enjoying all sorts of cool questions coming from our 4 yo's mouth. "Daddy, when is Jesus coming back?" "Mommy, when is Jesus going to show up?" If you didn't have the context, you would think either 'how cute' or 'what kind of end-times freaks are her parents?'

And in the meantime, I think I'm going to have to do all out cleaning of our storage space looking for the missing Baby Jesus.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ornaments Take 2

Made a second batch of ornaments today... this time for the two older kids to cut out and give as gifts. I used a different recipe.... 1 cup applesauce and 3/4 cup of cinnamon. But then I added more cinnamon (I have no idea how much) until I like the texture and feel of the dough. The ornaments are much darker than the last batch, in part because I 'floured' the counter with cinnamon, not flour. Also, the cinnamon I used was not three years old bought at Big Lots but was a new container bought last week.

I rolled the dough out thinner than the last batch, and already it seems to be hardening.

Kids liked the project. Hands got good and dirty and the smell of cinnamon is filling the kitchen. The dough is by far some of the most pleasurable I have ever worked with and kids seemed to agree. Posted by Picasa

First batch ornaments almost done

Here are the ornamnents that I made over a week ago. It took over a week before I was confident that they were dry. Today I decorated with glitter. Posted by Picasa

Waited for 9 years....

... to do this. Really wanted to do this when I got home from India the last time. It felt like it would be a neat symbol of ALL that India represents to me. But I spent the last nine years worrying about what others would think or say.

On Wednesday last week, Marc and I had some rare time to ourselves. When our Starbucks break was dominated by someone's loud gossip, we left. Marc asked what I wanted to do. I told him. So he not only took me, he paid for it and watched get it done.

In case you are wondering, it did hurt like crazy, and there was a lot of blood.

But it is definitely worth it.

 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Commencing the Holiday Season

Tonight we commenced the Christmas season. For I don't know how many years now, this is the movie we watch on Thanksgiving weekend. Marc says he remembers it being a tradition in his aunt and uncles family. But we've done it often enough so that it is our tradition now.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

June Cleaver

Marc and I just spoke on the phone. He asked if it would be cool if he came home from lunch.

I said, "Of course, but we've had a VERY vacation day and I'm not even dressed yet. So just know you're not coming home to June Cleaver."

He said, "I'm not even married to her. That would be very inappropriate."

Friday, November 17, 2006

An explanation

The kids and I were supposed to go to Freeport today to meet my sister and her friend Hannah with Baby Penelope. We got five days of work done in four, just so we could go. This morning we woke up with Caleb and Anna sick, again. So we stayed home. And that is why I have been abnormally productive on my blog. Please don't expect it to happen again : )

For My Sister

1 cup sugar
1 qt. water
12 whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
4 whole all spice (or 1/2 tsp)
1 whole ginger (1/4 tsp) - hmmm I wonder what that means, 1 whole ginger ?? I've always used the ground stuff
3 cups orange juice
1 cup lemon juice or four lemons
2 qts. apple cider

Boil water, sugar, and spices for 10 mintues
Add juices.
Add whiskey or vodka to individual servings.

Happy Holidays!


WARNING: Do NOT eat. This is only meant for decoration.

1 cup ground cinnamon
1T ground cloves
1T ground nutmeg
1 T ground ginger
1 c drained applesauce (I don't know how to drain applesauce, so I just used applesauce)
2 T white craft glue

1. Combine the spices in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the applesauce and glue.
3. Work in all the ingreadients with hands until ingredients are mixed thoroughly, mine was almost spongey.
4. The recipe I'm copying says at this point you can add food coloring, but I'm not sure what the point would be.
5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to approx. 1/4 inch thick.
6. Cut dough with cookie cutters.
7. Make a hole at the top of the ornament.
8. Lay out flat to dry in room temp. for several days (one recipe recommends turning them over).
9. When completely dry, thread the ornament. I'm thinking about using glitter glue to at least outline the ornaments.

These smell really yummy, and are supposed to keep their smell for quite a long time. I also read that you could add a bit of essential oil to it to refresh the smell.

The Mother of Invention

The morning started with Caleb being, well, Caleb. A boy, noisy, active.

The morning started also with me being, well, me. A mom still waking up, quieter by nature, liking a peaceful environment.

As I once again asked Caleb to please us an indoor voice, I had that familiar twang of 'am I just asking him to be something that he isn't?' Then I found myself telling him firmly "Go downstairs, turn on the lights on, and run and scream and do what you want to do. You are a boy, it has been raining for five days, and you have every right to want to be active and noisy. However, this is my home too, and I have every right to want to be able to eat my breakfast with some sort of peace." After he tried to argue out of it and realized I wasn't budging, he and his sisters went downstairs.

Soon the noises of children being children came upstairs. With the stereo loud enough I couldn't tell if they were arguements, getting hurt squawks, or having fun noises. I even managed to begin a menu for next week and ponder the weekly task of a grocery list.

After having ten of these blissful minutes, I was able to go downstairs and enjoy their noise. As I watched them play a game with fabric laundry baskets and nerf balls, I had an idea. I went into our storage room (also known as the 'I don't know where to put it room") and looked for a hammer and nails. Then I put two nails into two facing ceiling beams. Voila! Basement basketball.

As I moved on to getting the laundry started, the phrase 'necessity... the mother of all invention' came to mind. And I was especially delighted that whoever thought up that phrase knew that it woman, and especially a mother, who would come up with all creative solutions.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I owe my friend Renee thanks for posting this on her blog:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When I grow up...

Anna announced tonight at dinner, "I want to be a preacher, like dad and mom."


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Tonight was the night to pick up my work from five weeks of pottery through our regional adult ed. None of my projects were done on the wheel. And the whole glazing thing sort of still baffles me.

The class was fun, although an odd assortment of women taking the class. Some were there for the joy of pottery, and some were there to just crank out loads and loads of Christmas crafts. I went hoping to meet people. Pottery class in Maine is not a place to meet people.

But I have gravy boat (upper left hand-I've been wanting one for eleven years!), two new mugs (will report on their coffee worthiness tomorrow), and six little hands that are marked with name and year, so that in twenty or thirty years the kids can tell their kids, this is how big my hand used to be. Am I a sap, or what?

Little Girls

As we did an impromptu photo shoot before church this past Sunday, I realized that I no longer have a toddler and a baby. I have two little girls. What a joy to watch them grow....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Parenting Report Card

Anna just followed me into my little office hole.

"Sometimes you're the best mom, mom." And just before I could feel too all warm and fuzzy she completed her thought, "And sometimes you're not."

That about sums it up.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Google QOTD

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?"
Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
- Charles M. Schulz

Monday, November 06, 2006

Carrot followup

Caleb was so thrilled with his work as Junior Carrot Peeler, he asked if we could PLEEEASE keep the peels in the sink until Daddy got home from work (6 hours later in the day). As a compromise, we took a picture, let the disposal take care of the peels for us.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Carrots and kids that get older

Hee, hee, hee.

I've snuck away for fourteen minutes at the computer. The girls are napping (or faking it sufficiently) and Caleb is peeling a bag of carrots in the kitchen, just thrilled with himself and the job.

I'm not sure what I'm delighted with more... the quiet house with shadows of leaves dancing on my wall, or the work that is play that is happening in the kitchen.

Okay. Fourteen minutes is nearly up.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I read this yesterday in 'The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. Marc brought it home for me from his trip to SC. I finished the novel this morning, and think I will read it again next weekend.

I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson
in what she called "bee yard etiquette." She reminded me that the world was
really one big bee yard, and the same rules worked fine in both places:
Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be
an idiot; wear long sleeves and long pants. Don't swat. Don't even think
about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates, while whistling
melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you
don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

N.T. Wright

Every once in awhile I check out Dan Wilt's blog ( Today I was treated to a lengthy quote from NT Wright.

Here is the teaser (and I encourage you to check out the longer quote and link to full text at the link above):

The vocation of the artist is to speak of the present as beautiful in
itself but as pointing beyond itself, to enable us to see both the glory
that already fills the earth and the glory that shall flood it to
overflowing; to speak, within that, of the shame without ignoring the
promise, and to speak of the promise without forgetting the shame.”
Apocalyptic and the Beauty of God by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N.T. Wright

Monday, October 23, 2006

Smurf History

The "Today in History" link on my Google Homepage today led me to learn more about the Smurfs than I ever knew existed. I loved the cartoon in the mid-80's and even had a fair size collection of the little figures. Imagine my chagrin to find that they are accused by some of being satanic and communists! For more info follow this link:

PS. Really... who has time to accuse cute little blue creatures of such malicious things!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Living in our WHOLE house

We are so blessed to have not only a roomy ranch for a home, but to have a finished basement under it. So even though we live in a one story house, we essentially have two full levels.

For a long time, the "office" space has been in the basement. The problem with that is that for someone who craves and needs sunlight, especially at this time of year, going into a Cave is not an inspiring work environment. And if that someone attempting to do creative work is wired especially, perhaps even especially called, to be creative, and can't be creative, someone is not so happy (nor are the people who live with her).

Another problem has been that we rarely hang out in our Living room. I have a theory that it has to do with the fact that it is on the North side of the house. We first noticed our lack of living in our living room over a year ago. So we bought a stereo just for that room. It didn't seem to work in drawing more life into the room.

Just off of the living room (to the west) is a little knook with windows on three sides. This has been the 'playroom', but really only used when the kids had friends over. Aside from being a nice place to contain the mess of too many toys, I have been wondering for a few months if it were necessary for that purpose.

So this week, mommy got a playroom. My computer, and another computer that I've set up for the kids, have now taken residence in what already feels like a sanctuary. In the process, all the toys were thrown into the Living Room (who cares, since we hardly ever live in there), and have now been sorted through.

The Living room has been re-arranged (again), toys are mostly put somewhere.

So, this will be the attempt of Fall 2006 to live in our whole house.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yep yep - Sesame Street Martians

This was on my sister's blog! I remember this!!! She said she almost pee'd her pants laughing. I almost went and made a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich to go with the warm Sesame Street at 4 o'clock in the afternoon memories.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Follow the 18 month old...

The setting is this: three kids in pajamas in a dimly lit New England ranch. The oldest, a boy, has on superhero pajamas that intermittently expose his bellybutton. But he's a superhero, so he can get away with it. The middle, the oldest girl, is in a warm sleeper, purple with pink edging. Her hair is pulled up in what is left from the french braid after this morning's bath. The youngest, another girl, is also in a sleeper, aqua-blue with similar pink trimmings. Mom has just served no-bake cookies for dessert, and asked them to please settle down as bedtime is nearing.

Oldest and Middle are racing around the kitchen, we're following the leader they sing over and over (and over) again. They are, incidentally, doing a great job of trading who is the leader.

Enter the youngest, the 18 month old in aqua and pink. Someone (was it Mom?) says, now AquaPink is the leader. The two oldest jump at the idea (maybe sugar before bed isn't such a bad idea). They begin to carefully follow closely behind. AquaPink, trailed by PurplePink, followed by superhero. Around and around the kitchen. AquaPink glances behind every few seconds to see what her brother and sister are up to. Delighted at the funny house mirrors.

Then she catches on. She sees and tastes the power. All of a sudden she sits on the floor. They sit on the floor. She lies down. They lie down. Feet up in the air. More feet up in the air. Roll over. Roll over. Peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo. She deliberately gets more silly and more creative. AquaBlue squeals. SuperHero and PurplePink squeal. AquaBlue pretends to hiccup (REALLY!), the others hiccup. It lasted like this for twenty minutes, with Mom sitting on the couch giggling with the rest of them.

AquaBlue was by far the most talented and interesting Follow the Leader leader that I have ever watched. And the insight that I gained into her personality.... priceless.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No longer in a full crib

Today, Sofia and I partially took her crib apart. She is now sleeping in a 'transitional' bed. Which is three sides crib, one side open with really small guardrails. I'm wondering if I will get any sleep tonight while I listen for a thunk of a 21 pound Little Miss in the next room.

from Sweden to Hong Kong

This past weekend we met Ka Ho (or Matthew). He is a first year student at Colby, from Hong Kong. We applied to host an international student at Colby, and he is our guy. He is a really nice person, and we are so excited to have him as part of our family.

From Sweden

Last week, we got to have lunch with a friend from Sweden, who Marc met in Jerusalem the year before he and I met. Christian comes from southern Sweden, is involved with Vineyard over there, and was visiting Vancouver to lecture at a college. He had driven from Vancouver to upstate NY to see and cousin, and came the rest of the way to see us!

Here is everyone minus me after lunch together!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why we Homeschool....

To be honest, I have always felt a bit irritated with people, mainly Christians, who homeschool their children to 'protect' them. I just can't find the logic in 'sheltering' or 'hiding' our kids from the influence of 'the world' - usually meaning the curriculum and teachers of public schools.

My first and foremost reason for homeschooling is that I believe God has called me to it, and secondly I believe that my kids deserve a chance at a first rate education (which I don't think happens in a 'traditional' classroom setting). I also believe, that with care and guidance, my kids will grow to be better ambassadors of the King, if they have experience loving those not yet part of the Kingdom.

However, this past week after three random school shootings happening around the country, I have decided to throw in my lot with those who homeschool to protect their kids. How absolutely disturbing and sad.

To the families and friends of the victims, may God be near you, and may the lives and deaths of your young not be in vain.

I just read in The Message John 12 this week. Jesus says (this if from my memory) "Right now, I am storm tossed (this is just before His betrayal), but what will I say 'Father get me out of this?' No. This is why I came. So I will say, Father, Let your Glory Shine through this."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Words Necessary

Painting Lesson

Anna was thrilled when I asked her if she would teach Sofia to paint the other day. Here is a picture.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Selah House

This past weekend a dream was given back to me. Thank you to the RA's and RD of Nyland Hall at Gordon College. We had a blast.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

At the first hint of cooler air....

My crockpot became a fixture on top of the counter rather than under the counter.
In the past few weeks I have already done four or five crockpot meals. With school requiring much more time this year, I am convinced that this is the way to end the day peacefully. I am currently working my way through 'Fix It and Forget It Lightly' .

Astounding revelation of truth....

Today was a funk day. Anna was crabby. I was crabby. Sofia was crabby. Caleb was masterfully managing to avoid all the crabby girls around him.

I became aware over the weekend, that Caleb had no sneakers that fit him. So, in the midst of all the crabbiness, I decided that after school we were going to go buy him some sneakers.

So Crabby Number 1, Crabby Number 2, Crabby Number 3, and Caleb all piled into the van after lunch and went to the shoe store.

We found some killer sneakers for Caleb, and some cute church shoes for Anna.

And the crabbiness had left all aforementioned crabs.

So, it is true when they say shoes are a girls best friend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mom's for Modesty

Found this while I was wandering around homeschooling blogs today. Really resonated with me. Thank you to EveryDay Mommy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

12 Years Ago Today....

I was sitting on the floor at a day retreat with other ministry leaders from Gordon College when a ball of yarn hit me. Looking to see who lodged the assault on me, I saw someone I'd never met before, but thought I might like to.

Today, we celebrated knowing each other for twelve years. (We celebrated being married for eleven years this past May.)

Happy Anniversary to Us.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another conversation with Anna...

Anna is dancing around the kitchen after dinner. Marc and I are looking at her adoringly.

"Anna," I say, "You take my breath away."

"Moooom, I don't know how to do that."

"No, Anna, I'm not asking you to do anything. I'm telling you that just by being you, you take my breath away."

"Mooom" (Anna's voice is raising concern now) "but I don't know how to."

"Ann, I'm just saying I think your pretty and kind and lovely and I can't believe that I get to have you in my life. And sometimes when I look at you my heart gets so full it makes me want to cry happy tears, and my breath goes like this (I make an air sucking sort of noise)."

Anna looks at me incredulous that I still don't understand. "But Mom, I told you, I don't know how to take your breath away."

It sort of felt like that scene in Bug's Life... You know the "it's a rock" scene with Little Dot.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

When I grow up...

I walked into the living room this morning I found Anna studying our wedding picture.

"When I grow up, I'm going to marry Daddy."

"Really, honey." (I'm melting.)

"And I'm going to have flowers."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

never say never

I've been saying for six years now "Mommy doesn't go to the emergency room." Six years. This stems fairly naturally from a fear of emergency rooms, hospitals, and nearly everything medical.

And I've never needed the services of an emergency room. I've been born, and I've given birth three times.

Well-visits cause me much stress.... so much so that until recently Marc would take the kids.

All my years of saying never came to fruition today, about an hour and a half before church. Caleb and Anna were playing, Caleb with a basket over his head. Caleb took a turn into the bathroom, but misjudged, and went down the stairs right next to the bathroom door, head first. The basket stayed on his head all the way down.

Caleb stood up screaming. I ran downstairs. Blood. Everywhere. I start screaming. Marc runs downstairs (fresh from the shower). Grabs towel. Apply pressure.

Call doctor. Go to Emergency Room for stitches. And of course since I'm married to the preacher, I'm the one going to the ER (although Marc did offer to get coverage and to take Caleb, knowing my pre-disposition.)

So, Caleb and Anna (for support) and I got into the van and took a long one mile trip to the hospital.

Everything went so well, and everyone was so proud of Caleb. He was incredibly brave and peaceful, even though he said his head hurt like crazy.

By the time we left the hospital, Caleb had six staples in the side of his head.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I just posted our most recent Family Chronicles on our website. Click here to read the latest:


Sofia had a well-visit today. Everything went very well. After she had seen the doctor, the nurse came in, this time armed with three shots. Sofia very patiently lay down on the table and allowed the prep on her thighs.

First shot. No response from Sofia, not even a gasp. Then she made eye-contact with the nurse and said 'ooww'. Not even in a raised voice.

Second shot. A whimper.

Third shot. A howl.

Bandaids applied, Mom quick with the hug.

Sofia settles down and says "Bye-bye" to the nurse.

Monday, August 21, 2006


The kitchen has been nearly finished for nearly two months. It has taken me that long to get the photos together and up on the web. For a look at the work that I did on our kitchen this past June, follow this link.

A recap of the kitchen history: this past winter/spring both the oven and stovetop (separate originally) began to act 'tempermental' (is only the broiler working and a burner arcing considered tempermental or broken?). So, we had some money and borrowed the rest (thank you LLBean credit card .... at least I'll get a pair of shoes out of it). Emily did the majority of the work, only using Marc when his brawn was necessary, and hiring an electrician for the electric work (thank you Jason Marks! what a great guy!). We were able to use the existing cabinets, just changing where they were in the kitchen to fit the new formation.

Some people wonder if they could ever do something. Well, remodelling the kitchen was one of those for me. Now that I know I can do it, I don't think I'll ever put myself in the way of doing it again.

Enjoy the photos.

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school. Caleb started 2nd grade and Anna started pre-school. Sofia, well, she watched, fussed, made messes, and tried to figure out how life had changed all of a sudden.

This picture is actually taken at the end of our first day, after dinner. I think their smiles pretty accurately summarize the way we all felt after day 1.

Caleb even said he enjoyed math.

New strategies this year... regular snack and play times in the midst of our work. And Caleb has a desk in his room, so he could go into his room and shut his door to do some of his work. He seemed to like all of the changes.

I feel pretty great about the whole day, too, though I am puzzling about the Sofia piece. She took two naps today rather than one, so I am hoping that she is just out of sorts in general, and that it wasn't specifically school that threw her into a loop. We shall see. But the good thing is that we all (the ones directly involved with school) are going to bed looking forward to our school-day tomorrow.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Why am I doing this?

Yesterday we began the work of painting Caleb's room. It was what we decided to do to celebrate the end of first grade (in May) and are just getting to now.

After the first coat of paint was put on the walls yesterday, I was helping Caleb sort through his 'stuff' - now piled in the hallway. (He had wisely observed that he had too much stuff - especially when it came time to put stuff away to be moved out into the hallway.)

Anna came up to me in the hallway and asked if she could help.
"Sure, Anna. How about you collect all the tinker toys and put them
in this?"
"Okay!" happy Anna who loves sorting heads off on the tinker toy hunt.
"Mommy, I'm done."
"Okay, Anna, do you want to help some more?"
"Okay, would you please go through this pile of papers, and
anything that has anything to do with legos put in this pile?"
Contented Anna sorts papers.
Anna looks up.
"Mommy, why am I doing this?"
"Why are you doing what?"
"Why am I helping Caleb? He is never nice to me and I am being nice to him."
"Well, Anna. That's how Jesus tells us to do it. If someone is mean, we are supposed to be nice in return."
"Yes, Anna."
"That's wrong."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Can God heal a hard drive?

So, before we went away on vacation, my computer was really blitzing out. I am pretty sure that it was a hard drive issue, as were some local computer guys that I talked to. So the tower has been sitting on the kitchen counter for two weeks, waiting to be taken to the computer doctor (after a VERY unsuccessful and unhelpful three hours with Dell on the phone).

But then I remembered that I wanted to get all my addresses and favorites from this computer, so I plugged in in today to see if it would behave long enough for me to get my information. And as I began to work, I wondered if maybe God would heal my hard-drive.

Is this a heresy? Or is it just plain pathetic?

And why is it so incredibly debilitating to my personality to be without my computer? Maybe I need to get a dog?

Will keep you posted...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Google QOTD

"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better."
Andre Gide

good food to chew on... in between my Lime Tostitos.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

We recently had "The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers" by Amy Hollingsworth recommended to us. I picked it up through interlibrary loan and began reading it this morning. I am having a hard time to not just read the whole thing through in one sitting, it is so pleasant. But Mister Rogers never did hurry through things, so I think I'll take my time with this book.

And I strongly recommend it for a good summer read.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Up for Air

The past week has been spent working on the kitchen. There have been moments of great enjoyment, moments of great frustration, and moments of immense impatience. Today all the work came together. The cabinets and the microhood went up on their new wall. All that is left to do is get a light and outlet done the electrician, and some small finish up touches.

The main thing is that we are no longer living out of crates and boxes. The cabinets were hung early enough so that Caleb and I unpacked and put away everything. So I feel like I can just enjoy the rest of the process of finishing up.

Caleb and I even had time to make cookies in our new oven! It's amazing how they cook when the oven works correctly. I had a really hard time believing they were done because the top wasn't almost burnt.

And I made tacos for dinner. Amazing how well meat cooks on a stovetop that cooks correctly. I felt spoiled... and then amazed at what we had actually been living with for the past year and a half. WOW!

The kids have been phenomenal this past week. They have learned a lot by watching me. And they have had a sudden harvest of creatively playing with each other... which I think both the stress and necessity of the past week have given them.

No pics up on the blog about this... I'm going to create a page or journal on our website to show the whole process and will post when it is up.

Overall, I'm very pleased and very proud of myself.

And I'm very excited to be coming back to the land of the living (if that's what you call being online) as the next week starts.

Tomorrow, I expect to indulge in some computer time, and to finish the pajamas I started for Anna and Caleb, pre-kitchen.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Kitchen Renovation

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

I read this the other day (on the 14th) the day after I ripped out a bunch of my kitchen.

I wonder how I should take this?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I was cleaning through some files last week and found this cartoon. If my memory serves me, my sister gave it to me before we ever had kids. In light of our past year of dance lessons, I think it's pretty funny.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ohh Noo Sudokooo

I've been told, I've been warned, I've been encouraged... Emily, you will really enjoy Sudoku puzzles.

I looked through a book of the puzzles at my Mom's house over this past weekend.... hmmm.. that does look kind of fun.

Then as I was 'quickly' picking something up at Wally-World, there was an end-cap display of Sudoku puzzle books for $1.

I tried one this morning. Then two... three... four.

I think I'm hooked. (Of course I'm still in the "very easy" section of the puzzles, too. I'll let you know how I feel when I'm upgraded to "Easy".)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Play-doh where??!

As I was loading my washing machine this morning I hear Caleb's panicked voice coming down the stairs....

"What, Caleb?"
"I have play-doh stuck up my nose!"
"How did it get there?" as I continue to load the washer and marvel at his flair for drama.
"I don't know..."

So consider this a national security post. There appears to be an attack of play-doh pellets that will lodge themselves into spots where fingers spend any amount of time. You may want to close your windows and doors until this vile attack is announced as under control or over.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I was playing with Adobe Photoshop this afternoon, looking for something creative to do with Anna for thank you cards for her birthday. This is the 'photocopy' filter that you can use.

I'm becoming more and more infatuated with my kids this summer.. they are really so beautiful. How many times have I thought 'if I could draw I would draw that'... even their muscle sculpture fascinates me.

This picture is taken at Shaw's Wharf and Lobster Pound in New Harbor, Maine. We got to eat outside and look out at the Atlantic Ocean and Monhegan Island.

Monday, May 29, 2006

How to waste a day... three easy steps.

Get the idea that your computer will be better suited to you in a different place (you don't have a laptop).

Move the computer (and all the peripherals).

Decide that that idea was not a good one.

I'm so frustrated. I just want to feel like I fit someplace.

Almost a week past...

Since my last post....

We've had our birthday mini-golf trip with Anna, we had regular kinship, we had a special BBQ/kinship on Friday night and Danny and Linda arrived from Long Island.

Over the weekend (with Danny and Linda) we went to Shaw's Lobster Pound for real Maine lobster (I had steak) and went to an aquarium in Boothbay Harbor (can't recommend it... cool exhibit but not worth the price of admission). Celebrated our 11th anniversary on Saturday evening by going to the local blues bar sans kids (thank you Carrie for the babysitting gift).

In the middle of the night, Marc got really sick, so on Sunday with four hours notice I led the whole church service and preached! Danny and Linda hung out most of the afternoon, then we had to say good-bye to them.

Today we've gone to Home Depot and bought a new range (ours have ceased to work the way they are supposed to), moved my computer from the basement to our main living floor (out of the dungeon) and Marc is now mowing while I am trying to make this computer corner not dominate the dining/kitchen area and look nice and feel comfortable.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another Sofie story

Yesterday, when we were outside, Sofia watched a bird fly and land in the neighbors yard. Upon successful landing, Sofie threw her hands in the air and started clapping.

Sofia, what do you have?!

Sofia is getting bolder and bolder about being on the grass or dirt. A couple days ago even she would curl her feet up as high as she could just to avoid touching the grass. Today she was crawling around like she'd been at it forever.

We were making our way around to the front of the house. She stopped to admire something green that was taller than her in a 'flower' bed, so I scooted ahead to throw something away. When I returned (maybe 15 seconds later), Sofia had something in her hand.

"Sofia, what do you have?" Big Grin! Small toss. Picked it up again. Mom moves closer. It's a worm! A big, long worm. And Sofia would pick it up, hold it long enough for it to squirm and then give it a little toss. Then pick it up again. By the time we got the camera she was done with her game of worm-toss, but she was convinced to hold it one more time.

PS. The dirt around her mouth has nothing to do with the garden or the worm, she had just eaten a chocolate cupcake.

A Heart Balloon!

I bought a bag of balloons for Anna's birthday. It was just a bag that was hung in one of those random spots near the icecream (an impulse purchase product placement). When we got the bag home and opened them, there were mostly normal balloons, round, a couple different shapes. Then Caleb got quite excited about a balloon he had pulled out. Then I heard Marc saying, "Caleb, I've been around balloons for over thirty years..." When I looked to see what they were all jazzed about, this is what I found they had. There were five or six in the bag. Cool, huh?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A technology fast... or was it a Sabbath

I don't know what compelled me to do it. But yesterday morning I found myself thinking about how Marc will change his voicemail at work or church when he is going to be unavailable for a chunk of time. Then I wondered about doing it myself. So I did it. I turned my phone to "Silent" and changed my voicemail recording to say that I was away from my phone from yesterday morning until this afternoon. Also, as part of the discipline, I did not turn on my computer until just a few minutes ago.

I think I strongly recommend this discipline for everyone. The kids and I had a lovely day with just us...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Picture Day

Anna turns 4 on Sunday, so today we went to get pictures done. Here they are! Three Beautiful Kids!

I'm not so sure about the frog....What a happy girl!
I love this picture!
Sisters, Sisters, There were never two devoted sisters....
The birthday girl herself...
imagine... 4 years old.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Done First Grade

Caleb and I finished first grade this morning. WOW! In this past week, as part of his finishing up, he learned to tie his shoes (I told him I would keep him in first grade until he could tie them), memorized Colossians 3:12-14, and memorized a poem about how umbrellas were invented. We finished reading our stories, doing our spelling, graphing in math, and he and dad finished the first half of the study of world history (the rest of world history comes in second grade).

I think we're all kind of looking forward to the break, but I will miss it too. I love the curriculum and I love watching him learn and grow and push through points of frustration.

We haven't done much to celebrate. It's been a rainy and stressy mommy week. Hopefully we'll paint his room in June as a kind of celebratory gift. When we asked him how he would like to celebrate, he said "m&m's". That's my boy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Marc and I started Tango lessons last night. This is the sixth session of ballroom dance lessons that we have taken: rumba, salsa, triple-time swing, waltz/swing, waltz, and now tango. We're certainly not headed for any competitions, but we're having a great time dancing. We have the most amazing teacher, Jody, who drives up from Portland to teach on Sunday nights, and her tireless assistant Eva.

I have to recommend to anyone who can make the space to dance together on a regular basis, do it! We laugh, and smile, and play... things that now we are parent's of three with a church plant, day-job, and homeschool, and on and on and on, we often forget to do.